'Hundreds of undocumented migrants surged into the Pantheon in central Paris on Friday, briefly occupying the vaunted memorial complex to demand talks with the prime minister on regularizing their status.
Around 700 migrants and their supporters joined the demonstration, with some pushing into the historic complex at around midday (1100 GMT) on Friday, a member of the Chapelle Debout collective said.
Footage posted on Twitter from inside the building's main dome showed hundreds of people waving papers in the air shouting, "Black vests, black vests!" and "What do we want? Papers!"
The so-called "black vest" is a Paris-based migrant association that takes its name from the "yellow vest" anti-government protest movement.
As they went inside, tourists were evacuated from the Pantheon, which is the final resting place of France's greatest non-military luminaries including the writers Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. Outside, hundreds more were gathered under the watchful eyes of a heavy police presence.
In a statement, the black vest protesters said they wanted "papers and housing for everyone", describing themselves as "the undocumented, the voiceless and the faceless of the French Republic". "We don't want to negotiate with the interior minister and his officials any more, we want to talk to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe now!" they wrote.
They stayed there for several hours until they were calmly evacuated through a back entrance mid-afternoon, AFP correspondents said.
"All of the people who gained entry to the Pantheon have been evacuated," Philippe tweeted early evening as a police source said 37 arrests had been made.'
Read more: Violent clashes erupt as 'black vest' protesters storm Paris landmark
Did you like this article?
Thank you for your vote!
23 July 2019
French MPs call for boycott of address by environmentalist ‘apocalyptic guru’ Greta Thunberg
14 July 2019
Parents of French babies born with deformities angry after official probe yields no answers
From our advertisers
Epstein: Gateway to the Global Cesspit - by David Icke who has been exposing elite paedophiles and Satanists for decades
Why they say Epstein is dead - Epstein 'survivor' talks about him and the paedophile/Satanic elite
9 hours ago
‘We are moving into a new, controlled society worse than old totalitarianism’ – Zizek on Google leak
From our advertisers